I never actually gave much thought to the need for sterilising bottles, dummies, pumps, spoons, attachments, my nipples…ok maybe not the last one!
But once bub was born I became aware of how fragile their little immune systems are and how important it is, particularly in the beginning, to make sure that all their equipment is sterilised thoroughly before every use.
So you can’t just wash up their stuff with your coffee cup and run it under some boiling water? No?
Milk provides a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and without proper storage and cleaning methods your breast pump, bottles, dummies and other attachments may give your little one a nasty case of gastroenteritis.
Once your baby is 12 months old you can start to thoroughly clean and rinse their equipment in hot soapy water only but until this time, sterilisation is the safest way to make sure the little one is healthy and happy.
There are several methods you can use to sterilise your baby’s equipment so choose the one (or several – I use two) that best suits your lifestyle.
Methods of Sterilisation
Microwave sterilisers are my favourite method for breast pumps and bottles. It’s quick, efficient and allows you to store the sterilised equipment in a sealed and hygienic environment until you’re ready to use it.
A microwave steriliser is a big dome in which you place water, your equipment and seal the top, put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and you’re done. You can then leave everything in the steriliser until you’re ready to use it!
They’re also great for travelling or taking to work as most shopping centres, businesses and offices will have access to a microwave.
Pigeon Microwave Steam Steriliser
I’ve only just discovered microwave steam steriliser bags and they are awesome! They are a bag you simply pop in the microwave and the bags are reusable!
These are fantastic if you need to travel light or you are just heading to a friend’s place for the day. They can still easily fit a bottle, cup or cutlery. You can also keep them in your nappy bag for emergency dummy sterilisation! And yes, I know we also take about three dummies out with us but sometimes it’s just one of those days!
Sterilising solutions are an antibacterial concentrate that you can add to water and then soak your equipment. Make sure you read manufacturers instructions carefully though as not all breast pumps can be soaked in a solution.
Trading Boiling Method
This method might be old fashioned but it is still very effective! You need to make sure that the equipment is boiling for 5 minutes to kill all bacteria and that all the equipment is covered by the water.
An electric steamer is a special unit that sterilises baby bottles in about 3 – 5 minutes. You can also store the bottles in here to keep them clean. If you have the room for an extra appliance then this could be a good option, particularly if you plan to express or formula feed primarily.
Remember that your little one’s immune system isn’t developed enough to fight off some infections, so sterilising bottle-feeding equipment until they are 12 months old will reduce the chance of illness.
Check our our range of sterilisers- visit store.
For additional information visit the Raising Children Network.
What is your preferred method of sterilising and why? Leave your comments in the section below.